11 things to know before coming to China

That's it, you have your Chinese visa in hand, you are ready to cross the border. Completely ready, are you sure?

Small feedback of stuff all beasts that we learned during our stay and it is useful to know in our opinion, before arriving in China (walking, of course!)

Things to do before entering the country:

  1. Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and all other Google applications are blocked in China. Before entering China, create a account Yahoo Mail and use them to transfer your mails, ca costs nothing and can be useful if no VPN doesn't work (it happened to me several times, whether a paid VPN or not).
  2. If you use a Smartphone: Download the application Maps.Me and the map of China with routes (248Mb). There is a little less roads than on Google maps, but can be offline routes!


  3. To discuss with the Chinese (do not rely on them to speak English!), Download the application Hypostomus. It is a good English to Chinese dictionary (in addition to learning Chinese you review your English!). By downloading a plugin and more, free, the Chinese will be able to write and you'll have a translation word of ideographs. It gives a mean translation, but it is better than nothing and it has hosted our evenings more than once!


  4. WeChat: another application to download to communicate. Most of the people who live in China, Chinese or not, use it and ask you for your account. It allows to call and to send free text messages as soon as you have an Internet connection. Useful to keep in touch!


  5. On Android Smartphone: Google Play does not work without a VPN. Remember to upload all necessary applications for before returning!
  6. BUT! To counter all this, VPNS are your friends! Has been the time to find the good VPN running.
    For the Android Smartphone, Download now application fqrouter2. It's hyper simple and it works nickel! Sorry, it doesn't work on the Android...
    If you have a computer... Free VPNS that we tried were insufficient. As a paid VPN, you have Astrill which is very good. But if like us, you're a little mean, we have a solution for you! If you have a friend who has a Freebox in France (it was Free, he understood everything... uh short!), you can use it for make a VPN by fiddling a little !
    In short, despite these VPN advice, it does not prevent to do steps 1-5 before entering the country. If something does not work as expected, you will be happy!

Once on-site

  1. Withdraw money: only Bank of China and ICBC accept the European blue cards. And these banks found only in major cities. Other banks require a code 6 digit. We were told that it was possible to add 00 after its pin code (example: your code is 1234, type 123400). But we tried, it did not work.
    In these two banks, the possible maximum amount is typically 2500 yen or 3000 yen (€ 400-450 in may 2015)
  2. You say you "like in China, it'll be cheaper from" to buy a Smartphone !”. Very bad idea! It may be blocked only for China (inconsistent 3G network with Europe, Learn more), the Chinese version of Android blocks the possibility to install google including the PlayStore applications. Patches released tested for you... It was a beautiful galley!
  3. If you use the kind Openrunner sites to see the altitude in China: don't stress! It uses the Google maps who are staggered from 200 to 400 m on the ground: suddenly it gives anything! Altitude at 15-20%, mind-blowing totals... It gives a general idea, but thats it, do not look at the detail!
    At the time, also be careful if you are given a GPS coordinates Since Google maps: it will not match the right place on your GPS!
    Small example of difference:

    Screen shot 2015-05-08 at 08.58.21

    Slope > 15% more than the half of the time... Impressive, no? In fact, average angle about 4-5%, very sweet!

  4. To visit a country, it's always good to know a few words.
    -Hello: ni hao (pronounced:) Neither rao)
    -Thanks: xie xie)Sie sie or Shat Shat)
    -From nothing: Bu keqi)Pou kechi)
    -Goodbye: zai jian)Dzaille djianne), but even among themselves, they also just simply use the "bye bye".
    -How ca cost? : duo shao qian)Elizabeth chao chian)
    -France / french: fa guo)FA guo or FA gua, Depending on the region)
    -Toilets: this shuo)Chi cho)
    -Eat: che fa
    -Drink: he shui
    -Sleep: shui jiao
    -Yes: While)Towed)
    -No: Mei yo)Meillo)
  5. Starting with the hands. The Chinese do not like us, they count up to ten with one hand!
    1 一 (yi): the index (not the thumb! it would mean "ok")
    2 二 (er): index major
    3 三 (san): index major ring or major ring ear
    4 四 (si): index major ring ear
    5 五 (wu): five fingers
    It is after it becomes...
    6 六 (liu): thumb pinkie
    7 七 (IQ: pronounced) tchi): thumb index major touching
    8 八 (ba): thumb index (as we we'll let 2, attention to understanding errors!)
    9 九 (jiu pronounced tjiou): thumb and index finger in the form of "hook"
    10 十 (shi): the only one with both hands: we cross two indexes to make an X as a 10 Roman, or it shows his fist with one hand!

Other riders have illustrated it perfectly! Thank you the Asiemutes !

Screen shot 2015-05-08 at 08.05.28

In pictures, it's easier!

Thanks to David Benthley, Australian cycling which gave us some of these tips before that we were entering the country! Take care David and have a good trip!

This page has been helpful to you? Let us know in comments below!
And feel free to add your own tips for travelers to China.